Maximize Your Chances of Success on Triathlon Race Day

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

It’s race morning. This is it. You’ve done the hard work. Your many, many hours of swimming, biking and running have brought you here today.

Still, there are lots of things that can go wrong like bonking, having your goggles knocked off your head during the swim or simply having a bad day.

Here are 5 quick and easy last minute tips to maximize your success on triathlon race day:

1. Consume a Gel with Half a Sports Bottle of Water (or half a bottle of sports drink) about 15-20 minutes before the start of the race. This will top off your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores so you start with a full tank of fuel.

2. Put Your Swim Cap on Over Your Goggles. Cover the strap of your goggles. If your goggles get knocked off by another swimmer, your swim cap will keep them on your head. Stop, adjust and keep swimming.

3. Race the Race One Small “Chunk'” at a Time. No matter the distance, a triathlon from swim to bike to run can be overwhelming at the start. Rather than think about the race as a whole, think about the next step. E.g. Start. Swim to the first buoy. Swim to the second buoy… Exit the swim. Grab goggles and swim cap as unzipping wetsuit top. Transition to the bike. Settle into a rhythm and get to the first aid station, etc.

4. Smile. Not only will you look happy in your photos, smiling will energize both you and the volunteers.

5. Keep Moving Forward on the Run. As I told my coaching client, “They’re aid stations, not rest stops.” As long as you keep moving forward, even at a slow walk, you will eventually finish the race. Don’t stop.

Good luck!


About the Author:

David B. Glover, MS, CSCS has completed 28 IRONMAN distance triathlons including two sub 9 hour finishes and winning Vineman Full twice. Now, David’s passion now is helping triathlete and other endurance athletes achieve their dreams through his online triathlon education and training company, ENDURANCEWORKS. David has an MS in Exercise Physiology and is certified as a coach by USA Triathlon and USA Cycling as well as having his CSCS from NSCA. After six years of living, training and coaching in the triathlon mecca of Boulder, CO, David currently resides in Southern California.


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